Health care treatment episodes are defined by contact with health care providers, most typically in either inpatient or outpatient settings. They are usually characterized by days of inpatient care, in one or more hospital stays, or by number of outpatient visits. This methodological study seeks to characterize episodes by the treatment event that initiates them, and will distinguish between mental health/substance abuse episodes and physical healthcare episodes. We use a sample 34,705 individuals who had either a drug abuse or an alcoholism diagnosis, defined by principal ICD-9 diagnosis, over a three-year period. These individuals provide 164,302 treatment episodes. Our methods categorize episodes by initial location (inpatient or outpatient) and by initial treatment type (alcohol, drug, psychiatric, surgery, medical – that it, all other types of care). This paper concentrates on two major groups covered by our database, children (age 17 or younger) and dependents. We provide summary analyses of the 10 episode types, and we also provide descriptive profiles. We conclude that inpatient episodes are well described by their initiating event, with by far the largest portion of the treatment utilization and treatment costs accruing to the particular inpatient category that initiated the event. Outpatient episodes are somewhat more heterogeneous in cost and utilization, largely because outpatient care is much less expensive than any inpatient treatment that may accompany an episode initiated with outpatient care. Nonetheless, in episodes initiated by outpatient care, well over half of the utilization and treatment costs accrue to the category of care that initiated the treatment.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to: Understand treatment episodes
Keywords: Utilization, Cost Issues
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA